Barty wins first round in Wuhan tennis

Ashleigh Barty has set up a second round clash with world No.7 Johanna Konta after a straight sets win in the opening round of the Wuhan Open.

After a tight first set against American Catherine Bells, Barty steamrolled her way through the second to win 7-5 6-0.

Konta, who had a first round bye, enjoyed a win over Barty in their only clash, in the quarter finals of Nottingham earlier this year.

In a breakout year Barty has risen to No.37 in the world, from 271 at the start of 2017.

A few more wins this year should ensure she breaks into the top 32, enabling her to avoid playing seeds in the first two rounds of grand slam tournaments.

Meanwhile Katerina Siniakova beat a top-20 player for the sixth time this year when she ousted Kristina Mladenovic of France 6-3 6-2.

The Czech, who has two singles titles already this year, deepened the hole occupied by Mladenovic, who lost an eighth consecutive match, all to players ranked outside the WTA top 25.

Ekaterina Makarova of Russia won nine games in a row from 4-1 down en route to beating Anastasija Sevastova 6-4 6-2.

Also, Lesia Tsurenko of Ukraine defeated Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain 6-3 7-6 (10-8) to line up world No.1 Garbine Muguruza in the next round.

Muguruza, second-seeded Simona Halep and the other top six seeds received byes into the second round.

Sloane Stephens will take on Wang Qiang of China in the first round in her first competitive match since winning the US Open.

Stephens, seeded 14th in Wuhan, arrived on Friday and is expected to play her opening match on Monday. Madison Keys, who lost to Stephens in the all-American final in New York, will face qualifier Varvara Lepchenko in her opener.

* All Offers and Promotions posted in this article excludes NSW residents.
Stay up to date with the latest sports news
Follow our social accounts to get exclusive content and all the latest sporting news!